7 Ways a Coach Can Help You Write Your Nonfiction Book

If you are working on your first book, guidance and support from a knowledgeable source is a gift. But, even if you have done this before, a book coach can make writing a nonfiction book smoother, more organized, and more efficient. Here are some of the things a book coach can do for you.

1. A book coach is a teacher, partner, and personal cheerleader.

You may not even know when you begin how much you need someone to fill these roles. But support and guidance are the secret ingredients of success when you tackle a book project for the first time. There are many places along this path when your enthusiasm or confidence may falter. A book coach will help you stay focused and sure of yourself for the long haul.

2. A book coach guides you through every step of the process.

If you are like most new authors, you may be so eager to write that you “start in the middle,” rather than at the beginning. There is a proscribed process for writing a nonfiction book that begins with planning. The other major steps are research, if it is necessary; writing, the most time consuming and difficult; editing, to ensure that the books is as coherent and correct as it can be; publishing, where you will find there are many viable options; and promotion, the ways in which you will help to get your book into the hands of readers.

3. A book coach asks all the right questions during the planning phase.

These are the questions you must be able to answer before you begin writing. The most important is what is the subject of your book? If you can’t explain what your book is about in one sentence, you may not have a clear idea of your message. Other questions include who is your target audience? What are your qualifications for writing this book? What other books are on the shelves, and how is yours going to be different and better? How much control do you want over the publishing process? And, how will you help to promote it after it’s published.

4. A book coach helps you set realistic goals and create a schedule for meeting them.

Writing a book is a long-term project but certainly not one that should drag on forever. It is essential to set achievable goals to mark your progress along the way. Like all good goals, these should be specific, measurable, and have firm completion dates. If you think of the time between when you begin and when you hope to give your book to a publisher, everything your have to do must fit between those two dates. Knowing that will help you set short-term goals to move you toward your drop-dead deadline.

5. A book coach works with you on polishing your manuscript.

When you have written your last word, saved the file, and printed out your manuscript, if your book coach (editor) hasn’t read it yet, you have missed a valuable opportunity. Regular feedback during the writing process will not only keep you on track in terms of meeting your goals, it will also ensure that your book follows your plan from start to finish. As the author, you are often too close to your work to see the flaws and inconsistencies. Your coach will provide an objective and knowledgeable outside perspective.

6. A book coach clarifies available publishing options.

You may start out dreaming or of having a large New York publisher make sure your book goes on the new nonfiction table of Borders and Barnes & Noble, and that may be entirely possible. But conventional publishing is not for everyone or every book, and your coach can make you aware of all of the other viable options for putting your book between covers. You may choose to explore print on demand (POD), which is a popular digital technology for printing your book; one of a growing number of independent publishers who specialize in your subject matter or target market; or self-publishing, which has many advantages but is a separate process to learn and implement.

7. A book coach helps you promote your book before and after it is published.

Whether you are snapped up by the best known of the “big houses” or start your own publishing company, much – if not all – of the marketing and promotion is going to be your responsibility. This is news to many first-time authors; and, like publishing, marketing is a critical aspect of producing and disseminating your nonfiction book. Ideally, marketing should be a strategy into your planning from the very beginning.

Writing a nonfiction book is no longer the exclusive province of the few who manage to build a reputation or “get a reading” by a recognized publishing house. More and more people who have something to say and long to say it in a book are finding their voices. Still, it can be a daunting process for a novice. Where to begin, how to organize information and drafts, and all of the other essential tasks seem mysterious, if you’ve never done them. A book coach can demystify the process and act as a guide through this uncharted territory. For more information on book coaching, contact Bobbi Linkemer at bobbi@writeanonfictionbook.com,

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